|Submitted||Oct. 2, 2019|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Northeastern University's School of Social Justice and Health Equity is interested in the Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program ("PDMP"). Specifically, we want to learn more about law enforcement access to the database, the use of an algorithm that produces a risk score to analyze its contents, and the data access and retention rules governing the system. We understand the algorithm was produced by the corporation Appriss.
In order to permit the public to understand how the Arkansas Department of Health is using the PDMP and how it impacts public health and civil liberties in Arkansas, Northeastern University's Health in Justice Action Lab is making this request under Arkansas Freedom of Information Act § 25-19-101 et seq. for the following records:
1. Any and all memoranda of understanding between the Arkansas Department of Health and any outside entity regarding the PDMP;
2. Any and all records including information about the algorithm that determines risk scores in the PDMP, including but not limited to its source code, developer documentation, and operator manuals (e.g. Narx Score, Overdose Risk Score);
3. Any and all research, technical reports, or internal audits that evaluate the Appriss risk assessment tool’s effectiveness or performance;
4. Any and all records of de-identified red flag algorithm outputs (e.g. provider red flag, pharmacy red flag, 40 MED red flag) and patient behavioral red flags (e.g., anxious patient demeanor, distance between prescriber and dispenser) with prescriber/dispenser training documentation on how to address the red flags; and
5. Any record showing the number of patients in the PDMP by quarter and year (2006-present);
Because this request involves a matter of public concern and because it is made on behalf of a nonprofit organization, we ask that you waive any fees. If you decide not to waive fees, we request that you permit us to examine, at our election, the responsive documents before deciding which portions to transmit. We prefer the documents in electronic format.
Should you determine that some portion of the documents request are exempt from disclosure, please release any reasonably segregable portions that are not exempt. In addition, please note the applicable statutory exemption and explain why it applies to the redacted portions.
Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter.
I look forward to receiving your response to this request within ten days as requested by the statute.
I am one of the attorneys for the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). You have requested documents from the Arkansas Department of Health ( ADH ) for Arkansas Prescription Drug Monitoring Program ( PDMP) records and documents in Arkansas. You state that your request is pursuant to the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), in a letter ( see attached ) dated October 2, 2019 and received in our office by fax on October 2, 2019. However, it appears that you are not an Arkansas citizen. Your letter reveals a Somerville, Massachusetts address. You may wish to reflect on the United States Supreme Court case of McBurney v. Young , No. 12-17 , 569 U.S. _____, decided on April 29, 2013. The Supreme Court , in an unanimous decision , ruled that noncitizens of Virginia could not avail themselves of that state's FOIA law. Arkansas has a similar provision : ( Arkansas Code §25 -19 -105(a)(1)(A) ). Therefore, your request under the Arkansas FOIA law is denied. There are also other objections based on your request for certain intellectual property information and other concerns. Thank you.
Reginald A. Rogers
Deputy General Counsel
Arkansas Department of Health
4815 W. Markham St., Slot 31
Little Rock, Arkansas 72205
Phone : (501) 661 - 2609
Cell : (501) 944 - 2962
Fax : (501) 661 - 2357
The information contained in this e-mail message and any attachment is the property of the State of Arkansas and may be protected by state and federal laws governing disclosure of private information. It may contain information that is privileged, confidential, or otherwise protected from disclosure. It is intended solely for the use of the addressee. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that reading, copying or distributing this e-mail or the information herein by anyone other than the intended recipient is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. The sender has not waived any applicable privilege by sending the accompanying transmission. If you have received this transmission in error, please notify the sender by reply e-mail immediately, and delete this message and attachments from your computer.
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Northeastern University (MA) FOIA Request for PDMP Records.pdf
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